A recent Journal of the American Medical Association Viewpoint article argues that developing quality measures for assessing and rewarding high quality integrated behavioral health care could promote widespread adoption of an integrated care model. Patients with behavioral health issues, such as serious mental illness and substance abuse, use more medical resources than other patients, particularly when these patients have...
The Collaborative Family Healthcare Association (CFHA) posted a series of four stories on their blog that highlight developments in the field of behavioral health and primary care integration. The series covers a wide range of topics, including health care policy, delivery, and financing. Multiple members of the National Integration Academy Council (NIAC) and AHRQ Academy Team are featured in the series. In the...
Integration of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services are not getting adequate attention in health care settings, a new white paper suggests. The Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network released “Integrating Substance Use Disorder and Health Care Services in an Era of Health Care Reform” in March 2015. Current momentum for the integration of SUD and health care services stems from policy changes resulting from health care reform, as well as from growing evidence...
A broad gap exists between behavioral health (BH) needs of low-income Californians and BH treatment, a recent report finds. The report from Blue Shield of California Foundation discusses the results of a survey, which measured low-income Californians self-reported needs for and barriers to BH assistance. The results found that 3 out of 10 survey respondents had a time in the past year when they have felt the need to talk with a health care professional about their BH; however, only half of...
Vikram Patel, PhD, delivered a TED talk at TEDGlobal2012 encouraging the training of laypeople to deliver mental health services to help meet the worldwide mental health workforce shortage. Patel, trained as a psychiatrist in Britain, highlighted the gap between mental health needs and service provision for people with mental health problems — “the vast majority of these individuals do not receive the care that can vastly improve their lives.” This is a major problem in...
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law 5 years ago. In the time since its passage, the ACA has increased the number of Americans with health insurance, increased access to affordable health care, and may be contributing to slowing the rate of increase in health care spending.1 In addition, the ACA has transformed the delivery of health care,1 including changes that advance primary care and behavioral health integration. Among the post-ACA initiatives enabling opportunities for...
Two recent Health Affairs blog posts cite strategies to re-engineer Graduate Medical Education (GME) to better serve integrated primary care.Expansion of the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program could help to address the current primary care physician shortage as well as the mental health workforce shortage, according to the authors of two Health Affairs Blog posts. The first post...
Two recently published studies highlight the benefits of integrating behavioral health in primary care for children and youth. Integrating behavioral health (BH) into pediatric care might lead to short- and long-term improved health outcomes for children, argues a recent Viewpoint article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Childhood disorders such as asthma, obesity, and diabetes are being...
Oregon’s Alternative Payment Methodology (APM) model may be a promising approach to financing and sustaining behavioral health (BH) integration efforts, suggests Deborah Cohen, PhD, in an April, 2015 blog post in Health Affairs Blog entitled “Addressing Behavioral Health Integration with Payment Reform.” Dr. Cohen, an Associate Professor in the Department of...
Until 2010, Federal agencies defined health disparities very generally as “differences in health among different population groups.” The term was originally coined not merely to describe “all possible health differences among all possible groups of people” but rather to refer specifically to the poorer health outcomes experienced by socially disadvantaged people. Thus, in 2010, Healthy People 2020 clarified the meaning of health disparity by defining it as “. . ....

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